The advantages of HardiePlank siding include its long warranty, often up to 50 years, and its resistance to damage from fires, storms, fungus, rot and insects. It also comes in a variety of textures and colors and is an environmentally friendly alternative to other types of siding.
HardiePlank's fire resistance is due to its composition, which is 90 percent sand and cement bonded together with cellulose fiber through a high temperature steaming process. It is possible to buy HardiePlank and other fiber cement sidings in a variety of textures to appear as cedar siding or shake or wood lap shingles. HardiPlank does require painting every 10 to 15 years, depending on the warranty, enabling the homeowner to change the color of the home while avoiding the risks of fire, rot and insects that accompany wood siding products. Changing the color of the home is not an option with vinyl siding.
HardiePlank is a lap siding, but the company also markets HardieShingle siding, trim boards and soffit panels. HardiePlank siding tends to cost 10 to 40 percent more than vinyl siding, and installation costs are higher because more time and manpower is involved due to its weight. Fiber cement siding is not a great insulator and neither is vinyl siding. However, vinyl siding is available in an insulated version.